Hard-working professionals can overcome the lure of emotional eating by practicing daily meditation.
There are times when the stresses of life compel you to crave an outlet. For some, that outlet is food. Stress eating, however, can prove as harmful as any addiction, and it can prove especially problematic for parents because children learn from adults.
Physicians diagnose over 20% of preteens with obesity. You can prevent your emotional eating problem from becoming that of your child’s by learning to meditate.
With meditation, you can overcome the food demon and find a better way to resolve your emotions.
How Does It Work?
Studies show that meditation helps people to deal with challenging emotions. The practice can help you break the never-ending cycle of binge eating and subsequent guilt.
It’s challenging to rebuild self-esteem and rise above binge eating to deal with stress. However, it’s well worth the effort. The reward for doing so is replacing feelings of anxiety, emptiness and powerlessness with those of peace and satisfaction.
It’s important to remember that meditation isn’t about avoiding problems. Negative feelings are healthy – within reason. Instead, meditation is about rethinking the way that you deal with stressful situations.
You can find a better way to relieve stress, and set a better example for your family, by trying the following six meditations as a substitute – and hopefully a remedy – for emotional eating.
1. Loving-Kindness Meditation
You can try several types of meditation until you find one that suits you. The goal of loving-kindness meditation is to develop a mindset of love and kindness towards everyone and everything – even stressors.
Begin by breathing deeply and opening your mind to receiving loving-kindness. Next, send mental messages of loving-kindness to the world – be it people or whatever is creating stress in your life.
2. Breath Awareness Meditation
You can learn mindful breathing by practicing breath awareness meditation. Begin the exercise by breathing slowly and deeply. Focus on your breath by counting or merely listening as you inhale and exhale.
The objective is to focus only on your breathing while prohibiting any other thoughts from entering your mind. Breath awareness meditation can help you relieve anxiety while improving your concentration and emotional flexibility.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is all about remaining aware and in the present. The great thing about mindfulness meditation is that you can practice it anywhere and use it whenever needed. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, focus on awareness of your current environment.
However, you must focus objectively. For instance, instead of feeling frustrated at a long line or heavy traffic simply “be.” You can make a note of the problem, but instead of letting it bother you, calmly focus on the people and things around you – “be” in the moment.
4. Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga is a blend of deep breathing, mantras and movement. Typically, practitioners learn Kundalini yoga in a classroom environment. However, it’s possible to learn it at home.
Like other yoga practices, Kundalini yoga can improve your physical strength and wellness. It can also help you to reduce anxiety and depression.
5. Body Scan or Progressive Relaxation
When practicing body scan relaxation, progressive relaxation or body scan meditation, you’ll scan your body for tension. The objective is to find tension and allow it to leave your body.
Practitioners typically start at their feet and sense each part of their body moving upward toward their head. Some users practice the body scan relaxation technique by tensing and then relaxing their muscles, while others visualize waves that drift over their body and release tension.
6. Zen Meditation
Zen meditation is a part of Buddhism. The practice involves precise steps and postures. Resultantly, many Zen meditation practitioners study under a teacher.
Zen meditation requires discipline and practice. People who desire a new spiritual path commonly choose this meditation technique.
Around the world, women face many health threats unique to their gender, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For instance, a Harvard Mental Health Letter reveals that women are more likely to turn to food as a stress reliever, while men are more likely to turn to substances. Unfortunately, stress eating can contribute to weight gain and even obesity – compounding feelings of anxiety and depression.
When you begin the journey to free yourself from emotional eating, it’s a good idea to get rid of comfort food. Instead, stock your home with healthy eating choices, such as fruits and veggies.
Healthy eating starts at the supermarket. Leave those sugary treats on the shelf. If there’s no comfort food in your home, it’s harder to succumb to temptation.
As you find peace through meditation, it will become easier to make healthy food choices. In time, you’ll learn to overcome the impulse to reach for a sugary treat or other comfort food when faced with stressful situations.